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steve of stonehenge

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steve of stonehenge last won the day on April 10

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About steve of stonehenge

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    Advanced Member

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    Raleigh, NC
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    Retired military pilot. Love to travel.

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  1. The Sony 24mm f1.4 has some really good ratings. However, it is a bit expensive and in short supply. I have ordered one from Adorama but it is not expected to be in stock until mid-August. Some will say 24 is not wide enough. But you can always turn the camera to the portrait mode and take several shots and "stitch" them in software. And with a wide aperture of f1.4 you can get nice bokeh in portraits.
  2. I just got the firmware update to 3.0 to work correctly. Some of the steps were not the same in my Mac as listed on the Sony instructions. What I did this time that was different is on the step that says: "Connect the device to the computer with the USB cable." Previously, I turned on the camera at this step. So this time I did not turn on until I got to the "Updater" screen. Step one is turn on the camera. The "Updater" did not load automatically, but it is located in the Resources folder. I still feel this was way too complex.
  3. The system security problem did not occur. I assume this is because I have previously used the MacBook to update Sony firmware. The System Software updater would not automatically start as I expected. I also found it in the resources folder. However, when I followed the instructions, I got a notice that the update was not available for my model. It is like the app thinks I'm trying to update an A7m3 firmware on a A7Rm3. WTF? I still say Sony does a shitty job designing these updates. When Apple does an update, it is always seamless and easy. Never a problem. I guess I have become spoiled. I expect plug and play solutions.
  4. I just attempted the update using a MacBook Pro. It didn’t work. I dread every firmware update. I have never had one go smoothly. Is anyone else having a problem?
  5. I own some of the best primes available for the Sony E-mount system. But I’m finding the lens I use the most right now is the Sony 24-105 f4. This lens is just so versatile. I would suggest you check your camera settings. I have my ISO set at auto between 100 and 6000. I have taken great shots without a flash in normal lighting inside. I usually have little or no noise. If you absolutely insist on buying a prime, I suggest the Sony 55 f1.8. This was the first lens I bought when I converted to Sony a little less than 3 years ago. I also own the Sony 50mm f1.4. The 50 is ever so better than the 55 but not by much. If you look at the weight of the two lenses, then the 55 is a much better choice especially if you plan to travel with it.
  6. For years I have said a great starter lens is the Sony 55 f1.8. That was my first lens and I still have it. Great for travel. But I bought the Sony 24-105 f4 in November and just love it. This may be the only lens I take when I travel. I know a lot of folks will say, "f4 is not fast enough". They would be wrong. This is a great lens. I set the ISO at auto 100 minimum and 4000 maximum. With my Sony A7R m3, this is no problem. And what a great camera/lens combination for street photography. I was at a political event march Saturday and got great shots walking backwards focusing on a moving subject and got tact sharp shots! Here is a shot from Christmas without a flash at 54mm, f4, 1/80 second, and ISO 3200:
  7. My HVL-F20M flash suddenly does not work with my A7R3. When the camera is turned on, it says something like: "Device not supported. Check manual." Firmware is current on camera. Any ideas from the Forum for fixing?
  8. I recently received a Sony 24-104 f4 lens and I love it. This lens is so versatile. I can see this as my main travel lens. On most trips I will still take the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM for landscapes. Smaller international airlines have a 8KG carry on luggage limit. That means a maximum of three lenses so selection is very important. Don't just take my word for it. The reviews for this lens are really outstanding. Some are even saying go with this lens over the 24-70 f2.8 GM. Much cheaper and lighter.
  9. My shot above of Lower Yosemite was taken about 11PM. This shot is only possible during a full moon + or minus one day in April, May and sometimes June. It depends on snow melt in the high Sierras. It is called a Moonbow. When you take a look at the waterfall, you can’t see the colors in the moonbow...just a smudge. It is still my most special shot ever.
  10. This 36-second long-exposure photo of Lower Yosemite Falls was taken at 24mm f4. So what you have may work pretty well. I own two lenses that would be an upgrade from your current lens: Zeiss Batis 24mm f2 and Sony 16-35 f2.8 G Master. However, both these choices are above your price point. When I bought the Batis, the 16-35 G Master was not released yet. Now I'm finding the G Master is my go to choice most times in the landscape scenario. The G Master is a more versatile lens but heavy. So if you are backpacking or concerned about the weight, go with the Batis. The color rendition of Zeiss lenses is awesome. Also, if you travel internationally and want to carry-on your photo gear, you need to keep the bag below 7 Kg. Good luck and enjoy Yosemite.
  11. I do not shoot astro much but I feel f2.8 may not be fast enough. I have a f2 24mm Zeiss Batis I would probably use for astro. As for the 35mm end of the 16-35 G Master, it would work although I would use a longer lens like 50mm or 85mm. I pretty much use the 16-35 for landscapes, although you could use it for street photography too.
  12. For travel photography I don't think you can do better than the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM. I owned the f4 version but traded up to the GM about a year ago and love it. Two disadvantages however: 1) cost...about 50% higher than f4, and 2) weight...also about 50% heavier. But you always compromise with lens selection. A high quality lens will always cost more, and a wider f-stop is heavier. Cameras will come a go as technology improves. But good glass lasts a lifetime. This image was taken a couple months ago at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, USA with Sony A7Rm3 and 16-35 GM lens. It is a portion of a 5 image pano that was huge. I plan to purchase the Sony 24-105 f4 soon. The experts seem to favor the 24-105 over the 70-200 f4. I would rule out the 24-70 f2.8 Gm due to weight. My new travel kit will be the 16-35 f2.8 GM and the 24-105 with the A7rm3 body.
  13. A fast (f2.8 or faster) 85mm is great for portraits. You can get great bokeh with a fast lens. This photo was taken with the A7m2 and Batis 85/f1.8 at f2.8 and ISO 400 at 1/400 sec. This lens is also great for street photography. The 85 mm allows you to shoot people without being in their face.
  14. When I moved to Sony from Canon, my first camera/lens was the A7 II with Sony 55 f1.8. This is still an awesome lens and the A7 II is my backup camera. I have since purchased the Sony 50 f1.4. This is an even better lens but about 50% more expensive. It sounds like you are on a budget, so go with the Sony 55. Look at Ken Rockwell’s review of both. He says the Sony 50 is a better lens but the Sony 55 is perfect for most people. If you have unlimited resources, get the Sony 50. Otherwise, go with the Sony 55. For your shooting needs it will work until you can add more lenses. When you need a wide angle for landscape, just use the 55 and stitch several photos together for the wide angle. I used to do this on a tripod, but now just hand hold. It works great.
  15. I have owned both the Sony 16-35 f4 and f2.8. Since you are on a budget, go for the f4. While not perfect, it is a very good lens. As you fill out your lens collection, take a look at the Sigma Art lens collection. They are heavy lenses (generally), but IQ is really good. And now most come in an E mount which means no need for an adapter.
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